We asked job hunters: What’s stopping you from returning to work?
Last updated: November 5, 2022
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Elyssa Duncan
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We asked job hunters: What’s stopping you from returning to work?
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Denise Re'ala
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Order Picker at Barrons Educational Series

Unfortunately, I have a transportation problem since I don't drive and therefore, can't just accept any job I want. In Suffolk County, Long Island, the bus service is limited. Yet, in my case, a real work at home position is not only practical. It simply makes sense.

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Patti Gerhardt
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Need a decent job to showcase my skills and competence

I'm taking the summer off to recover from a brutal spring covering for people on FMLA leave and then we all got laid off due to budget cuts. Now they bus people in from IL who don't know english to do my job for way less money.

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Alison Sanchirico
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I am an experienced HR Coordinator - 31 years to be exact. While I was still employed prior to COVID my hourly rate of pay was a little more than middle of the road for going rate. Now that so many people are out of work, companies want the highest education and experience but for half the cost. I've never seen anything like it before. Companies are taking advantage to the point where you can't earn a living wage anymore. I made 27.47 and company want a higher degree than I have for 16.00 and 17.00 dollars an hour. Very disturbing.

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Ronda Marten
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I live in a smaller city and the higher paying jobs tend to either demand hard skills that don't correspond with mine or have physical demands that my body just can't fulfill. I can't take the part-time or low paying jobs because I am single and the only one to pay my bills. Right now I can pay them with unemployment and healthcare aid. It is $370 minus taxes a week not $1000. If I take a low paying job I lose the healthcare as well as the unemployment. So even if I make the same as $370 per week healthcare etc is now taken out and considering how much it costs I'd lose quite a bit of income and would struggle to keep bills paid. I'm 49 and have bad knees. Taking two or more jobs would be extremely painful and frankly add to healthcare costs. I've worked hard all my life and need to make calculated decisions. I'm applying to places and doing freelance work. Contrary to some people's opinions, not everyone who is still receiving unemployment is lazy or living in luxury.

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Nari Davis
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I’ve run into many of the same issues with ageism, low paying jobs and endless dead end applications when applying for my career skill set.

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John Coe
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Customer Service Associate at Lowes Home Improvement

Although it is supposed to be illegal, I think age is still used to not hire older workers. They can't ask your age so now they ask what year you graduated high school. They would rather hire a young person who they feel may be with them for a number of years than an older one who is not be able to be the career person they want. Then the young person is gone to greener pastures in 6 months to a year. Older workers are severely underrated as to what they can contribute to a company. And many of us don't need or want their benefits as we have better. Thus, another savings to the company. If I were an employer, I would hire as many older people as were qualified.

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Richard Spain
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Office Automation Clerk at Internal Revenue Service

Frustration. despair. underemployment. too long a gap, reverse gender discrimination, outright ageism.

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Laura Wade-Dahlberg
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Customer Success Advocate | Professional Problem Solving | Lifelong Learner

For me, there are three main factors getting between me & a job.

  1. There's ageism, as I'm well over 55;
  2. There's the problem that I have multiple disabilities, so I need to work at home & can only work part time; & then
  3. There's the problem that I've been out of the workforce for several years, due to my disabilities.
    So, I'm working with a job coach through my community health provider & state Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), my local Works! (workforce) center - they're providing me with online, updated software training. I'm also using the various job sites, to find work-related self-improvement programs/training, as well as job listings.
    The biggest thing is, I just keep applying for jobs, even when I get ghosted by an employer, I just move on to the next one; I know that something will eventually work out for me.
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DUANE DUREN
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How about adding laziness and great unemployment benefits as a reason!! Why would anyone work when the government enables people to stay home and give them 1000.00 dollars a week tax free to do nothing!!!!

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James Wagoner
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I am one that's working and have been working and lots that were working during the pandemic. Don't be fooled there lots of jobs and has been jobs. Do I expect a doctor that loses his job to stuff like this to work warehouse or clean no but when you need money most of us do ever it takes. I am and have been working because I need to pay rent and bills. I get it no one wants to work for chump change and make business owners rich and employers expect so much but offer little and seem to think there doing us a favor but I don't have a choice so until I can find out how people are getting by not working I am stuck weather I like it or not and will do what it takes

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